Chris Crowley, President
Chris Crowley’s interest in wind power began when he realized that wind power had the potential to unite people and interest groups across the “Cascade curtain.”
“In the Pacific Northwest, people have fought for decades over water, fish, trees, owls, cows and a whole host of other things. I saw wind power as a way to unite ranchers and communities on the east side who badly needed another ‘crop’ to diversify their economies and west side interests committed to fighting global climate change. Wind looked like a ‘win-win’ to me from the beginning, and it still does. I think what we’re doing in the renewable energy industry is vitally important to rebuilding our country and making our planet a better place for our kids.”
Crowley’s career began in politics on the east coast. He organized the first Earth Day at his high school in 1972. After college, while working in the fishing industry, he organized “Fishermen for the Banks” to oppose oil drilling off the coast of Massachusetts. He worked in politics during the 1980s, including two years working for Walter Mondale’s campaign for President (1983-84). In Massachusetts, he was one of the first people hired in the organization tasked with the cleanup of Boston Harbor. Later, he served as Press Secretary for the environmental agencies in Massachusetts.
He moved to the Northwest in 1991 and began work as a public affairs consultant for a number of clients and organizations. Former clients include Northwest Airlines, the Seattle Arboretum, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (fighting deregulation of Washington’s electric utilities), Fluor Daniel (as part of the team that secured the contract to clean up the Hanford nuclear reservation) and the developers of the Amphitheater at Clark County, an 18,000-seat concert venue.
In 1999-2000, Crowley co-founded Hardroad.com, a music web site that was ahead of its time, building community through live, local music.
Crowley founded Columbia Energy Partners in 2001, initially in a joint-venture with a large European company. He built on ties in the electrical workers union to uncover what became the company’s first major wind project in Arlington, Oregon. He partnered with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on that project. Along the way, he began working with colleagues Marl Kane and Jon Norling who became partners, along with Peter Blood, when CEP expanded in 2007.
Today, Crowley serves on the Board of Eastern Frontier, a writers’ residency program located off the coast of Maine, and the Board of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He is past chair of the (Washington) Small Business Improvement Council and served for years as Treasurer for Congressman Brian Baird. He lives in Vancouver, WA with his wife, Martha, and their two teen-aged children. His wife and daughter compete in horse jumping events around the region, but Chris prefers trail riding and camping with his quarter horse, Player, and Weimaraner, Pongi. And his son, when he can be talked into it. CEP is a family business – the whole outfit spends vacations in the Steens, hiking, riding and getting to know the people and places that make Steens Mountain a very special place indeed.
Marl Kane, VP Project Development and Construction
Marl Kane served for more than 30 years in top management positions at major construction firms including California-based Wismer-Becker. He led project acquisition and construction teams to secure contracts to build hydro, nuclear, gas-fired and wind power plants as well as various public and private construction contracts. He has worked with CEP since 2003.
In several roles with Wismer-Becker, Vice President, Division Manager, General Manager, Director, Kane managed and directed a diversified engineering, construction entity involved in power, communications, process control, and automation projects. He lead and directed 130+ engineers and support staff. Increased revenues over four-fold.
Kane also brings valuable experience in business development and entrepreneurship. With Interstate Coatings, Inc. he established the company as a leading U.S. metalizing contractor. He developed, patented and established marketing alliances for process containment products. He established a foreign joint venture and secured a major foreign contract and served on a national committee establishing standards for metalizing on concrete and steel structures.
With DAC Resources Co., Kane identified, analyzed, and facilitated acquisition activities for a major U.S. construction firm. He arbitrated numerous construction disputes as a member of the National Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association, and Chaired multiple Disputes Resolution Boards associated with the construction of the Los Angeles Metro system.
Kane’s educational background includes Stanford Executive Institute; California State University, Sacramento (Finance and Accounting) University of California, Davis (Operations Research and Statistics) University of San Francisco (Government Contracts) and Wenatchee Valley College (Business).
He was born in Wenatchee, Washington, where he worked in orchards and on ranches as a boy. Among other interests, he is a certified ski instructor and ski patrol, a licensed pilot and an “eventing” (cross country horseback jumping competitions) enthusiast. He and his wife Deborah live in Auburn, Washington.
Peter Blood, VP Origination & Portfolio Management
Peter focuses on both commercial and technical arrangements to achieve and manage operations of CEP’s portfolio. He brings critical experience in the investment in, marketing and management of renewable and conventional power generation projects.
With over 18 years at some of the nation’s largest integrated energy companies and utilities, Peter has an extensive background in physical and financial energy structured origination, transmission, operations, business development, risk management, trading, and structured finance and portfolio management. Blood has been a key executive at such energy organizations as: TransAlta, PPM Energy (now Iberdrola), Calpine, Dynegy Marketing & Trade, Koch Energy, Inc. (now Merrill Lynch Commodities) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). From 1999 to 2003, Blood was with Calpine in Houston and, in 2001, returned to the Northwest to lead the establishment and management of its regional office in Portland. His professional background spans the energy, telecommunications and information management industries including GTE and Arthur Andersen & Co. (now Accenture).
Peter has augmented his professional experience with an MBA-Finance from the University of Houston and a BBA-Finance from the University of Notre Dame. Blood is currently a Level I candidate for the Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA designation by the CFA Institute. He is on the board of directors for the Northwest Power Pool. Blood resides in Portland, OR having first arrived here 20 years ago as a Montanan and avid backcountryman with earlier roots in Colorado.
Jon Norling, VP & General Counsel
Jon Norling has served as legal counsel to CEP since 2003. He joined CEP full time in January 2008. Before joining CEP, he was a partner in the Portland, Oregon office of Lane Powell, where he focused his practice on renewable energy transactions.
Norling has been a leader in the Northwest region’s renewable energy practice, representing clients in wind power, biomass, solar, bio-fuels and general business matters. In prior practice, he assisted developers in numerous tax credit financings, negotiation and drafting of power purchase and renewable energy credit agreements and federal regulatory matters.
Like the other principals on the CEP team, Norling brings an entrepreneurial bent to CEP. He has been a critical member of CEP’s wind project management team while serving as legal counsel, assisting the company in locating potential developments. On his own, Norling developed Portland Biodiesel, a biodiesel production company that makes use of locally generated waste oils to sell refined fuel to local consumers. Portland Biodiesel reflects Norling and CEP’s approach to local economic development and responsible environmental stewardship. Norling lives in Portland with his wife Kelly and three children. He is a graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School and Middlebury College.